I live for the days when I swim workouts with bucket sets. You feel a little better when you tell people you dragged on around for a quarter of your workout. So what does a bucket do for you?
Naturally you’re going to get stronger. Dragging that extra weight is no joke either. If you’ve never experienced this added resistance before then your first time will feel like a struggle. There’s a catch here: a bucket will amplify any deficiencies in your stroke. If you have bad habits like not finishing strokes or dropping your elbow on your catch it’ll be very obvious when you swim with a bucket.
This is an excellent tool to hit those underwaters if you’re struggling in this area. It’ll build up speed and stamina. You’ll notice how much further you’ll be getting out the more you work with one. When working underwaters with a bucket you’ll want to be putting in your maximum effort.
Buckets for practice are something that are relatively easy to make. First – get yourself a 5-gallon bucket. I’ve never bought a bucket in my life; I just randomly acquire them, but you can get them at a hardware store for cheap. Next you’ll need buckling straps for your waste. People used to attach the bucket to the buckling straps with rubber tubing, but I always used nylon straps because they provided uniform resistance and wouldn’t stretch a mile from the weight. I connected it to the buckling straps with a carabiner. Get yourself a legit climbing carabiner that’s meant to support weight. You’ll need to make yourself some holes in this bucket. If you can make them about an inch in diameter, three or four will do. If you need to go smaller you’ll just need to make more holes.
Working with a bucket will make you feel like you’re barely moving. In fact, this is kind of like trying to swim with a boat anchor. You’re going to feel it the next day. Remember to work your pull & technique and over time you’ll notice the results.